Sunday, November 13, 2011


One Spring day in 1996 I was watching MTV. Rather routine for the time. MTV still played music videos during the day but it was quickly going downhill. In between the usual blandness of what was normally played on the channel, this video came on. At first I was confused because it had a touch of originality to it and it was being played during daylight hours. What the hell is “Sparklehorse”? As soon as the video was over, I turned the TV off and went to a music store. My options for places to purchase CDs was extremely limited but to my amazement I actually found the CD titled “Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot”. I rushed home and spent the next month listening to nothing but. During that month I painted this picture to go with the song “Cow”.

The painting was completed in May of 1996 and about a month later I flew to New Zealand for a four month sabbatical in paradise. During that time the painting was wrapped up and stored in my grandmother's basement. Upon my return to the states, I immediately moved to Northern California, Walnut Creek to be exact and the painting came with me. I was invited to share a house with my friend Marty who was working on the film "Sphere" and had space to spare. The painting took a prominent place in the living room above the four-track where many evenings were spent recording. "Cow" was so appreciated by its host that Marty purchased a beautiful gilded frame for it specifically. The one that's still on it today. We even attempted to see Sparklehorse live in San Francisco when they were slated to open for Mazzy Star at Slim’s. But Sparklehorse canceled at the last minute. Eventually it came time to move so I settled in Saint Louis, MO and the painting came along. For a few years it remained wrapped up and stored away. At some point it was loaned out to 3WK for their new office on Macklind Ave. Jim Atkinson, the owner, always had a fondness for cows and really liked the painting. When 3WK moved their studios I got the painting back and it was wrapped up and put in storage. Today the painting hangs in my parlor and is usually the first thing people notice when they visit me at my home. Usually people look at it nervously and pretend it's not there. When I look at it I’m always reminded of that Spring day in 1996 discovering Sparklehorse and Mark Linkous.